Call for Papers: The Afterlife of Fascism: The Reception of Modern Italian Architecture and Urbanism 

Nearly 75 years after the regime’s end, questions about the built legacy of Italian Fascism continue to provoke polemic responses and questions.

The Afterlife of Fascism will investigate what has become of the architectural and urban projects of Italian Fascism; how have sites been transformed or adapted; and what do these sites mean today? We invite submissions that examine the afterlife of fascist architecture through studies of destruction, adaptation, debates over re-use, artistic interventions, and even routine daily practices, which may slowly alter collective understandings of a site. The volume will consider whether these structures and their material remains embody or retain some essence of the defeated political movement or, in contrast, whether they stand as reminders of the fragility of the connection between meaning and architectural form.

Through a critical history of the reception of fascist-era architecture and urbanism, The Afterlife of Fascism seeks to broaden our understanding of the relationships between politics and place. It aims to build on histories of the reception of politically charged sites in the modern era, which highlight how interventions, practices, and events have altered meaning even as physical forms often remain. Scott Sandage, for example, traces the evolution of our collective understanding of the Lincoln Memorial from a site intended to commemorate the preservation of the Union to one that associates Lincoln with emancipation and memorializes the civil rights movement. In Ghosts of Berlin, Brian Ladd analyzes the debates surrounding the many politically charged sites of Berlin and brings to light how the memories of each era in the city’s modern history are reflected and constructed through debates over meaning, use, and form. Kristin Ann Hass’s Carried to the Wall considers how the meaning of the Vietnam War was negotiated through the reception of the Vietnam Wall through an analysis of the objects left at the wall. In doing so, she reminds us of the power of individuals, ordinary people, to engage in these contests over meanings and of place.

The editors invite papers on fascist architecture and urbanism that contribute to this discourse on reception through studies of the negotiations among politics, identity, memory, and place. Interested authors should submit an abstract of 400-500 words and a C.V. to co-editors Kay Bea Jones (kaybeajones@gmail.com) and Stephanie Pilat (spilat@ou.edu) by Monday, 16 October 2017. Decisions will be made by December 2017. Papers of 4,000 – 8,000 words will be due on June 15th, 2018. Papers from accepted abstracts will undergo peer-review before publication.

The full call for papers can be accessed here.

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